From passion to praise: The interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation stems from inner desires and rewards. It comes from the joy you get from doing the task itself. It also comes from the pleasure of learning a skill or doing things aligned with your purpose. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation comes from external sources such as money or praise from others. For instance, you may work hard to get a salary raise or to be praised by your boss. Both types of motivation have a place in your life. You must know which drives you more.

Intrinsic Motivation vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Intrinsic motivation often comes from a real sense of purpose. When your goals, values, and passions align, you get a kind of enthusiasm that is not reliant on external factors. Intrinsic motivation is suited for activities that demand creativity or grit. It makes you more resilient to setbacks, allowing you to perform better on more complex tasks. Extrinsic motivation can help you do well on easy tasks that do not require creativity. However, it usually is not enough to fuel you to overcome tough challenges. If you depend on external rewards to drive you forward, you will likely give up sooner. It is also vital to know the dangers of relying on external rewards. Studies have shown that people perform worse when paid to perform tasks they usually enjoy (like solving a puzzle). External rewards can remove any innate joy you get from doing the activity.


Finding your motivation requires you to examine where your drive primarily comes from. In the long term, you should ideally depend on intrinsic motivation to carry you forward.

Are you primarily driven by intrinsic or extrinsic motivation?